Download Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and by William A. Johnson, Holt N. Parker PDF

By William A. Johnson, Holt N. Parker

Classicists were sluggish to exploit the $64000 advances within the manner that literacy is seen in different disciplines (including specifically cognitive psychology, socio-linguistics, and socio-anthropology). nonetheless, historians of literacy proceed to depend on superseded paintings by means of classicists (mostly from the 1960's and 1970's) and feature little entry to the present reexamination of the traditional facts. This well timed quantity makes an attempt to formulate new fascinating methods of conversing in regards to the complete inspiration of literacy within the historic world—literacy no longer within the feel of even if 10% or 30% of individuals within the historical global may well learn or write, yet within the experience of text-oriented occasions embedded in a specific socio-cultural context.

The quantity is meant as a discussion board during which chosen top students reconsider from the floor up how scholars of classical antiquity may perhaps top technique the query of literacy some time past, and the way that research may well materially intersect with alterations within the approach that literacy is now considered in different disciplines.

The outcome will provide readers new methods of wondering particular parts of "literacy" in antiquity, similar to the character of non-public libraries, or what it capability to be a bookseller in antiquity; new constructionist questions, similar to what constitutes studying groups and the way they style themselves; new takes at the public sphere, corresponding to how literacy intersects with commercialism, or with using public areas, or with the development of civic identification; new essentialist questions, equivalent to what "book" and "reading" characterize in antiquity, why literate cultures strengthen, or why literate cultures subject. The publication derives from a convention (a Semple Symposium held in Cincinnati in April 2006) and comprises new paintings from the main remarkable students of literacy in antiquity (e.g., Simon Goldhill, Joseph Farrell, Peter White, and Rosalind Thomas).

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Extra info for Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome

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I would like to emphasize the list as a separate type of writing and writing use that is relevant to public documents as well as private, and ‘‘list literacy’’ as an interesting subcategory of literacy use. Lists are interesting for our purposes for several reasons. They have been said to be a quite separate entity from oral communication (Goody [1977] argued that the list was a quintessentially literate artifact, not a naturally occurring phenomenon in an entirely oral society, though early Greek poetry is not entirely unable to give lists of names).

There is thus a fascinating tension between the obvious fact that writing makes certain activities possible or easier, and that different potentials are seized upon by different communities. In some, writing means bureaucracy, control, and oppression by the state, in others an enabling skill that frees an individual’s creative potential. This is the direction of research at the moment. Rather than see ‘‘literacy’’ as an independent, separable skill, researchers as well as teachers in the field tend to wish to see it more as an embedded activity—or to see a tension between the social context and the potentialities of writing.

5. See JHS Archaeological Reports 2003–4, pp. 19–20: texts being published by Prof. Kritsas. 6. Curses from Camarina and Selinous: Dubois 1989 IGDS, nos. 29–40 and pp. 124ff. Laws from Himera: Brugnone 1997; and from Selinous: Jameson, Jordan, Kotansky 1993. Note also the Mappa di Soleto: Daily Telegraph Nov. 18, 2005. 7. Selinous curses: mid-sixth century to end of fifth century, Dubois 1989 IGDS nos. 29–40; Camarina curses: c. 450 or later 5th century—and Dubois 1989 IGDS pp. 124ff. Contracts in lead seem to appear later.

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